STANDARD Chartered Bank Zimbabwe Limited (Stanchart) says all is set for this year’s Road to Anfield national tournament to be played in Harare on Saturday.
BY HENRY MHARA
The Road to Anfield is an international 5-a-side football tournament offering fans a “money can’t buy” opportunity to travel to English Premiership giants Liverpool.
Sixteen local teams, selected from the institution’s clients, will face off at the tournament with the champion proceeding to the regional tournament to be held in Botswana on March 18.
The Zimbabwe representative will compete with the hosts and a team from Zambia for a ticket to represent the region at the Standard Chartered Trophy finals to be staged at Liverpool’s famous Anfield Stadium on May 21.
Stanchart officially launched the tournament last night at a function held at the match venue, with the bank expressing their pride in hosting a tourney that affords its clients lifetime opportunities.
“This is one of the unique ways to thank our clients and key stakeholders for remaining loyal to our franchise, loyal to the Standard Chartered brand. It (tournament) is an opportunity for us as a bank to engage with our clients and stakeholders, thanking them for being with us over the years. We are a strong brand and a strong bank, which we would not be without our clients,” Stanchart head of commercial banking, Mubaiwa Mubayiwa, said while addressing the gathering.
Mubaiwa said all the teams that have entered are clients with the exception of one staff team.
“The teams were by invitation-only to our retail clients, commercial and corporate clients. Both local and international clients are participating. We at Stanchart are proud to be hosting this tournament once again. It is a unique chance for a team from Zimbabwe to play on the Anfield pitch.”
This is the second time that the bank is hosting the tournament after the inaugural event in 2015, which saw Dairibord Zimbabwe winning the national finals and representing the country at the regional finals in Zambia, losing in the finals.
The national champions, who will travel to Gaborone and possibly Liverpool, will be fully sponsored by Stanchart.
There will also be prizes up for grabs at the national finals tournament, with the player, goalkeeper, fastest goal and the top goal scorer of the tournament set to be rewarded.
At Anfield, the regional winners will attend an English Premiership match, as well as receiving professional training sessions with Liverpool’s former players and coaches.
The Road to Anfield tournament, now in its fifth season, will see the participation of 19 markets from across Stanchart’s group, such as Botswana, Brunei, Ghana, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Malaysia, Nigeria, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Gambia, Thailand, Uganda, Vietnam, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Ten winning teams will represent their region, as they battle it out for the much coveted Standard Chartered Trophy, which went to Kenya’s Capital FM last year.